“Being a conductor is a good profession to grow old in, because it’s always a challenge – and you need challenges when you get older.” So says Herbert Blomstedt, born in 1927, who here continues his long-standing collaboration with the Berliner Philharmoniker with unbridled energy and vitality.
Blomstedt’s benchmark performances combine analytical precision with an intimacy that brings the music to pulsating life. The Swedish-American maestro works through each score in detail anew before a performance, even though he has conducted it many times for delighted audiences: a learner, even at 95 years of age. “I make a lot of notes, because I study the scores very carefully, so that every note has its particular meaning.” Humility and modesty characterise how he presents himself – Blomstedt rejects the common clichés associated with the conducting profession in many respects.
There is also a premiere in this concert, as Blomstedt conducts one of Franz Schubert’s symphonies with the orchestra for the first time: the Third, with perhaps the most sparkling finale of all Schubert symphonies – in the buoyant, buffo tone of a Rossini overture. The evening also continues exuberantly with Beethoven’s rousing Seventh Symphony, which ends with a finale full of effervescent energy.